The girl is nine. She lies on a hammock, watching the sun splashing through the leaves on the trees. A breeze blows the hammock back and forth. Her eyes open and close lazily. Rolling over onto her belly, she begins counting a family of ants as they busily build a new home in the dirt beneath her. Summer is coming to a close, but she is not thinking about the start of school or what she will eat next. Nothing about the future enters her mind. Her focus is the present—just this little family of ants and that perfect breeze.
This childhood moment reminds me of a simpler time when my worries were few. As an adult, my life seldom resembles this peaceful, tranquil scene. Adulthood is messy. It’s filled with financial worries, relationship issues, illness, problems at work, and unending laundry!
I conducted a poll about the word peace recently. I asked participants to describe what peace looked like to them. They defined peace with words like quiet, safe, calm, secure, and together. They suggested snuggling, reading, drawing, sleeping, listening to music, and, my personal favorite, eating candy as peaceful things to do.
These are all nice, but none of these feelings or activities bring lasting peace. As soon as a trial comes, those things go right out the door! So where do we find lasting peace?
It comes from Jesus, for He is the giver of peace. In John 14:27, Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (NASB).
Jesus comforted His disciples with this statement at the Lord’s Supper. He had just told them that one of them would betray Him and that He would soon be leaving their world. He also told them that where He was going, they could not follow.
The disciples were deeply troubled by these statements. They didn’t understand His impending betrayal and departure; they were confused. Jesus knew this, so He gave them what they needed, something that would sustain them. He gave them His peace—peace that is not of this world and that “surpasses all comprehension” (Philippians 4:7).
But even with Jesus’s words still echoing in their ears, early Christians struggled to maintain peace. Paul addressed this in Ephesians 2:14, reminding the church that Christ Himself is our peace. All we need to have peace is Jesus.
Are you looking for peace today? Are you fighting to maintain it? Start by seeking Jesus Christ. Jesus is Immanuel. Immanuel means God with us. And God is our peace.
You will not experience true peace in your home, your work, with your family, or in your community until you have Jesus. But even as you seek Him through prayer and His Word, life might not look the way you want it to. It might still be messy. It might still be hard.
When Jesus promised peace to His disciples, they didn’t know what lay ahead for them, but Jesus did. Some of them would face tough ministries in far-away countries. Others would face imprisonment, and most eventually suffered brutal, violent deaths. Jesus was not promising His men an easy life. He was promising them peace, His peace. With that, they could face their situations and not be overcome.
Here are a few simple truths about Jesus that we can cling to when life is one big mess.
- The Lord watches over you and protects you (Psalm 121:5–8).
- The Lord gives you strength. (Isaiah 41:10).
- Nothing can separate you from the love of God (Romans 8:39).
- God will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
- God promises to return (Luke 12:40).
- God offers eternal life as a free gift (Romans 6:23).
- God will keep you safe (Psalm 4:8).
There’s only one way to obtain the Lord’s peace—you must trust in God’s promises and seek after Christ Jesus. In Him and in His Word, you will find lasting peace that will move you forward through every situation.